Kaleb Center, Sports Information Director
It won’t be much longer before Chadron State College football has a new field and stadium to call home.
A final push to finish the project, which began in November immediately following the 2017 football season, is now underway with as many as 11 or 12 different crews operating at once on the construction site. The stadium is expected to debut on September 1 with the Eagles’ first home game against Black Hills State University.
“Cabinetry and all that stuff is arriving now,” said Chadron State College Construction Project Coordinator Blair Brennan on Friday. “In about a week, we’ll just be detailing. We’re going to be down to putting light switch covers, hanging light fixtures, laying ceramic tile and carpet. All that happens in the next few days, all at once.”
Field turf arrived on Monday. It sits on 12th street, behind King Library awaiting installation. That crucial element, one of the final pieces of the project, is due to begin this weekend with a completion date of August 15. A budget of $40,000 is allotted for sod, to surround the turf around the outside of the 15-yard field apron.
Sprinklers were installed last week, together with fixtures for hoses. The field and all of its surrounding grass are to be installed all at once. Brennan says at this point, weather isn’t much of an issue.
“The only way the rain will slow us down, is that they can’t really glue the carpet together while it’s raining. Aside from that, the work will continue unhindered. The field itself can take a bunch of water.”
The grandstands are nearing completion. The bleacher seating, chairs, and railings are all supposed to go in this week.
“They’re working on the lighting controls,” said Brennan, “so the LED lights will come on this week. We have to burn those in a little bit, so they can run for quite a while.”
Sheetrock, ceilings, paint, wiring, glass – all of it goes in simultaneously, up in Con Marshall Press Box. Brennan points out that the windows at the top, which are covered with plywood, are the operable windows that will be on hinges to open and close. Those come from a separate supplier and are yet to be installed. One additional chunk of glass will remain uninstalled until the completion of the press box interior, to be used as an extraction point.
“We’ve got to pull some wire for a few things yet,” said Brennan. “The elevator’s going in right now. Concessions equipment is starting to arrive. Furnishings will arrive the week before the game. We’re coordinating a fiber optic pull into the data rack. Haggerty’s sound equipment and Daktronics systems have to be weaved together and integrated. We’ll have lots of data lines.”
Thanks to the generosity of several benefactors, the accommodations in the press box will now include the Verne & Erma Lewellen Family Hospitality Room, the Lee Wahlstrom Family Foundation Suite, and the Dr. Samuel H. Rankin President’s Suite.
These venues provide Chadron State and Chadron State Foundation opportunities to host alumni, friends, dignitaries, donors and others to share the Chadron State story. Each football season invitations will be issued to alumni and friends to experience game day on the Chadron State campus and enjoy these three new venues.
The stadium concourse, which will see the bulk of foot traffic on gameday, is being attributed to Security First Bank. Security First recently extended their sponsorship of CSC athletics as the Official Corporate Sponsor of CSC Athletics and invested in the future of the sports complex including the stadium and track, which is in the planning phases. The ticket office will be named the 21st Century Equipment Ticket Office on the south side of the stadium.
The concrete and asphalt begins flowing soon, out to the south of the press box. Despite extending the structure out about 20 extra feet to the south, the number of parking stalls for the new stadium is only about 12 fewer than prior to construction.
Although he expects some things will inevitably be revisited later, after the stadium debut, Brennan is confident that everything necessary to run a football game will be in place by gameday. The plan is to turn the field over to the college for use by August 20.
“Adolfson & Peterson, our construction contractor, have three or four guys that are thinking all the way out to the end, and then back in,” said Brennan. “They’re worth every dime.”